Blasphemy or Love? The Case for Dog-Earing Books

There’s a war going on all around us, and the Average Joe has no idea it’s happening. Yes, we’re talking about bookmarkers vs. dog-ears.

Before I upset any people (and let’s be real, the only people getting upset are the bookmarkers), I am a OCD bookmarker that takes pristine care of my books.

I freak out if anyone breaths near my books. I read my paperbacks in such a way so as not to crease the spine. And when I lend out my paperbacks to my mother and she returns them to be with the spine all wrinkled, I very nearly avoid a panic attack.

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but there’s some truth to it.

I used to dog-ear. Now I don’t. I can’t bring myself to crease the page. But does that mean that folks who dog-ear their pages are in the wrong?

Blasphemy or Love?

Is dog-earing really all that bad? Is it blasphemy to even consider doing it?

I submit to you that dog-earing, and the next logical step: writing in your book–GASP!, is actually the utmost form of love.

When you get a used book, which book seems more well-read and loved to you? The book that appears in pristine condition, like no one has ever touched it. Or the one where the pages are near falling out, there’s a coffee stain on the cover, and writing on every other page?

That may not sound like the type of book you’d ever consider buying, but there’s no denying that someone loved that book.

Like the stuffed animal whose eye is falling out and has lost all the stuffing in its head, a worn and written book speaks of the value the owner placed in it.

Why, then, is the book for sale? There’s lots of reasons this might happen and you shouldn’t judge. Perhaps the owner has to downsize and needed to get rid their books. Or maybe the owner died, and the family is selling off their things.

So let’s ask the question that you’re really dying to ask.

Why Do People Dog-Ear Pages?

Perhaps a better question is why not?

Yes, yes, preserving the condition and all that. I’m an OCD bookmarker, remember?

But when we get down to the heart of the matter, it is your book isn’t it? You own it. You paid for it. You can do whatever you want with it.

Is it going to somehow change the story by putting a small crease in the corner of the page? Absolutely not.

If it bothers you, don’t do it. Simple. But I’m here to tell you today that it’s not any of your business whether someone else does.

Dog-earers don’t go around attacking bookmarkers, and I might step on some toes here, but bookmarkers need to lay off the dog-ear crowd.

Once again, I shall remind you that I myself prefer to bookmark.

Bookmarking disadvantages

Let’s face it bookmarkers, being a bookmarker is tedious work.

You always need to have a bookmark on hand, and more often than not you can’t ever seem to find one. You know there are dozens…somewhere. You remember using one yesterday, but it’s mysteriously vanished.

So you grab the closest thing you can find: a receipt, a business card, heck, a candy wrapper.

Bookmark vs Dog-ear

But then you get a chocolate smudge on the page and isn’t that worse than a small crease in the corner?

And then let’s not get started about the bookmark falling out (it’s happened to me more times than I care to admit), or, God forbid, your child pulls it out. NOOOOOOooooooo!!!!

Been there. Done that, too.

The Easiest Solution

Now it’s time for me to anger people on both sides of the argument.

Stop buying physical books!

I love e-books. I own three Kindles and have the Kindle app on my iPhone.

E-books never lose their place. You can highlight sentences without having a nervous breakdown, and it makes it super easy to read all your notes in one convenient location.

The best part about e-books is Whispersync with Audible.

I can download the audiobook straight on my Kindle and if I want to listen to the audio on my commute, I can. And then as soon as I open my e-book, it’s right where I left off without needing to figure out where the audio ended and scroll ahead to wherever that point is in my book.

I still buy physical books, but they are more for shelf decoration than for reading. Like when I bought the whole boxset of Throne of Glass books after finishing the series on my Kindle.

Final Thoughts on Dog-Ears

Whether your dog-ear or not is up to you. But for Pete’s sake, please leave your neighbor, family member, friend, perfect stranger, etc. alone if they disagree with you.

The world isn’t going to end, no one is going to die, and the only thing that’s hurt is your butt.

For me, I might actually just give dog-earing a try again. If my heart doesn’t implode, I might just find it easier than bookmarks.

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